Retention of Employment Land and Premises SPD
1.1 The Council seeks to safeguard all employment land within the built up area. This SPD provides clarity on the circumstances where change of use or redevelopment to alternative uses may be appropriate and the criteria which would have to be satisfied in order to obtain planning permission for these alternative uses. This SPD seeks to ensure that loss of any existing employment site (land or premises) is not at the expense of the local economy.
1.2 This SPD adopts a sequential approach towards proposals for the redevelopment of employment land:
- To retain suitable and viable sites in employment uses as the first preference in all cases;
- Where a site is not deemed suitable and/or viable against the tests in this SPD, then the preference is for other employment-generating uses on the site (subject to other material planning considerations) and/or a mixed use development which can be used to cross-subsidise the delivery of new employment uses as part of the site.
- To consider alternative employment generating uses outside of the 'B' use classes.
Development Plan background
1.3 The Hastings Local Plan currently comprises two key documents that provide the statutory framework for land use and development in Hastings up to 2028. These documents include the Hastings Planning Strategy 2014 and the Development Management Plan 2015.
1.4 The Hastings Planning Strategy contains a specific policy that seeks to deliver the Council's priorities for existing employment land and premises. This is set out below.
POLICY E1: Existing Employment Land and Premises
Effective use of employment land and premises will be secured by the following:
- land and premises currently, or last used for employment purposes – including B1, B2 and B8 or any of a use of a similar character not falling within a specified use class, will be retained in such use unless it is demonstrated that there is no reasonable prospect of its continued use for employment purposes or it would cause serious harm to local amenities;
- where continued employment use of a site/premises is demonstrated to be unviable permitting a mixed use enabling development which incorporates employment space will be considered first; if a mixed use scheme is not viable the extent to which any proposed new use generates new employment will be taken into account.
- permitting intensification, conversion, redevelopment and/or extension having regard to other policies of the Plan;
The Employment Land Retention Supplementary Planning Document gives further details of how parts a) and b) of the policy will be implemented. Proposals for development of live/work units will be supported subject to normal planning considerations.
1.5 This Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) provides additional guidance and support for parts a) and b) of Policy E1 above, and constitutes a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.